I went to a special screening of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie at Walt Disney Studios this past weekend and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. But I absolutely loved the film. I thought it was incredibly clever – the way the traditional story of Frankenstein was captured, along with a humorous homage to all the old monster movies. And one of the best things about screenings is that they often include Q&A sessions or introductions with the filmmakers. Before this viewing, the producers shared a few tidbits about the filming process and the background on the story. Like did you know Frankenweenie was originally a short live-action film Time Burton made in 1984 starring Shelley Duvall? (Picture below.) Or did you know that the stop motion animation takes roughly a weeks worth of work to capture just 5 seconds of the film? That’s dedication for you!
But what resonates most about the film is just how touching the story is – That universal feeling of loss and wanting so much to bring back a friend, particularly “man’s best friend,” is perfectly portrayed. And judging by the chorus of sobs coming from my fellow audience members, I wasn’t alone in relating to Victor Frankenstein’s longing for his best friend Sparky.
I know, in a way, the film should sort of discourage me from wanting a pet, but it actually did the opposite. I just want a puppy even more now. And it also struck a chord because my parents dog, Max, is actually sick right now and had to have pretty severe surgery. He sort of looks like poor the Frankenweenie dog with all his scars and the idea that he can’t be around forever sometimes fills my heart with sadness! He was a good friend to me when I came back home after dancing with a ballet company – I was depressed and unsure of what I was going to do with my life and Max stuck by my side while I figured things out. He basically made everything better.
Anyway, if you have the chance to see Frankenweenie, go for it. It’s really a sweet film!